The visit in Georgia took place on 28th and 29th March, 2011. Enlargement of the relations between the two parliaments and deepening of cooperation in the trade, economic and energy field were at the focus of the talks, held with the chairman of Georgia’s parliament David Bakradze. Both sides shared the opinion that the two countries are strongly interested in enhancing the cooperation and the contacts between the two parliaments and parliamentary committees. Tsetska Tsacheva noted that Bulgaria considers Georgia a strategic economic partner and perceives the recent economic exchange between the two countries as successful. The volume of trade between the two countries in 2009 has reached 350 M USD; in 2010 it was over 400 M USD. It was stressed that Bulgaria and Georgia consider the cooperation in the area of energy an important priority.
National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva stressed that Bulgaria welcomes the successful cooperation between Georgia and the European Union and NATO. She pointed to the experience of Bulgaria in holding reforms, in establishing the rule of law and market economy as a proven way to reach the goals of accession to the EU. She expressed the readiness of Bulgaria to help Georgia in the process of association to the EU as well as in its bilateral and multilateral relations in the Eastern Partnership initiative. The two parties expressed their commitment to contribute to the economic cooperation in the Black Sea region.
Bulgaria and Georgia signed during the first day of the visit an Air Transport Agreement. The document was signed at a special ceremony on March 28th, 2011 in Tbilisi by the Bulgarian minister of transport, information technologies and communications Alexander Tsvetkov and the minister of economy and sustainable development of Georgia Vera Kobalia. Georgia has recently become part of the common air space of the European Union. The country had signed air transport agreements with 14 member states of the EU. According to the experts the opening of the air transport market will considerably improve the travel opportunities of both the EU and Georgia’s citizens and will increase the number of direct flights and the volume of passengers for business and tourism between the EU countries and Georgia. It is also expected that it will bring economic benefits to the European air transport industry and the European economy as a whole.
During the official visit the National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva met with his Holiness and Beatitude the Patriarch of All Georgia Ilya II.
She expressed on behalf of the Bulgarian parliamentarians high respect towards the Patriarch of Georgia for his role in preserving the Christian values. She emphasized the contributions of Patriarch Ilya II to the invigorating of Christianity and peace.
During the meeting the parties noted the useful partnership between the two sister churches and its historical roots. The Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox churches maintain traditionally warm and good relations. It was stressed that in the difficult years of the transition period, the churches have provided their peoples with inspiration and hope.
The chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva handed to his Holiness and Beatitude a message on behalf of Bulgaria’s Patriarch Maxim, expressing gratitude for the warm reception of the Bulgarian parliamentarians. In his address Patriarch Maxim points to the historically close relations between the two Orthodox churches and to their common efforts, in the course of history, aimed at the unity and prosperity of the holy Orthodoxy and for their common efforts to overcome war dangers and their appeals for peace and understanding among nations.
Patriarch Ilya II presented the delegation with a cross, church literature and a CD of his own church singings.
The Bulgarian parliamentary delegation included Alexander Radoslavov, deputy chairman of the Coalition of Bulgaria PG and chair of the parliamentary friendship group between Bulgaria and Georgia; Pavel Dimitrov MP from the GERB PG and deputy chair of the friendship group; Stoyan Ivanov MP from the Ataka PG; Mithat Metin MP from the MRF PG and Ivan Nikolaev Ivanov, deputy chairman of the Blue Coalition PG.